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Showing posts from July, 2012

It's More Than Music

Singers sing for GRAMMY's. Rappers rap for award shows. Actors act for Oscars and Golden Globes. I am not against any of these. In fact there should be awards to honor hard work and recognize outstanding talent.

As a pianist and composer, one of my personal goals is to win a GRAMMY and I have been privileged to play piano with a GRAMMY winning orchestra and a legendary GRAMMY-winning jazz saxophonist.  For being America's best, they deserve such merit. However; I strongly believe that placing emphasis on fame, popularity, and awards should not be a primary focus.

After the music stops, when the applauses cease, when popularity fades, when singles and albums fall off the charts (inevitably, they all do), and the newest song is replaced with a newer one, what happens? The GRAMMY collects dust, the fame dies down and the recording industry, like it has for countless others, forgets.

This fate is just the opposite for those who use their gifts and talents for the glory of God. For th…

Five July 31 Transportation Referendum Points

Atlanta and the state of Georgia are on the brink of history and that history is based on infrastructure. Transportation is the sole deciding factor of what Atlanta's and Georgia's coming decades of economic outlook will look like. So far this year, the state of Georgia is taking bold and beneficial action to better its infrastructure.

A few of the benefits of such action are job creation, improving quality of life, increasing productivity, and facilitating more economic development.

Atlanta's current traffic problems have hindered quality jobs from coming into the area. Not long ago a Fortune 500 company carrying the promise of creating 5,000 new jobs, strongly considered moving its headquarters to Atlanta. However, they chose to locate in a city in northern Virginia and cited Atlanta's traffic problems as a major factor in their decision. OUCH!!!

The bottom line here is the future prosperity of the Atlanta region and the state of Georgia depends on the July 31 Transpor…

Models of Unity: Atlanta

The city of Atlanta is witnessing an extraordinary amount of political collaboration, peace, and unity in a day that many cities and our nation's capital, simply do not have.

The city's ability to take on major issues without letting party affiliations and stiff loyalties stand in the way of progress has long been one of its defining characteristics.

From the Civil Rights Movement to passing legislation for MARTA in 1971, to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and possessing the infrastructure to allow nine Fortune 500 companies to call the city home, Atlanta is a long standing model of what can happen when people work across political and instutional lines to create wealth and opportunities for its people and businesses.

Many cities and regions suffer institutional rigidity. The mayor doesn't work with the chamber of commerce, college presidents don't talk to business leaders and so on. A recipe for economic contraction and eventual decay.

The reality is that in Atlanta, busi…

Lights, Electricity, Infrastructure!

The power was out in my neighborhood last week (my house included) and the only benefit derived from that entire experience was spending time, that I probably wouldn't have spent, with my loving family. One of my aunties, whose house had power, made me dinner; while my uncle and other auntie invited me to stay the night with them. I woke up to the smell of waffles, eggs, grits, and fried sausage links made just for me by my loving uncle. I'm a blessed man.

Anyways, having no power made me realize and appreciate even more, the existence and efficiency of infrastructure. Things such as power, lights, electricity, clean water, and all of those necessities that we only take notice of when 1) they aren't working 2) when their bills are due. Here in America, our infrastructure improves daily and we should all be grateful.

Infrastructure is the physical support system needed for the delivery of goods and services, and us people. It includes water and sewer pipes, roads, bridges, c…

One for My Dudes

There are tons of traps, pitfalls, and schemes in our world, especially for us fellas, particularly us youngens, as the old folks call us. There is the theft trap, the alcohol trap, the approval trap, the club trap, the weed trap, the sex trap, the porn trap, the lying trap, the trap trap, and so many more. We see other people fall into these traps all the time and I'm sure I'm not the first to realize that these traps lead to worlds of regret, pain, shame, prison, and sometimes even funerals.

It's real for us dudes because if a man is ever stripped or deprived from his purpose and future, his and countless other lives are affected. What's worse is we never know whose looking up to us. Once you hit your teens you involuntarily become a role model for some young dude who wants to be just like you.

The man alone represents strength and protection. Any great movement ever taken place throughout the ages has required the participation of a man to some degree. Youth represen…